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Thread: Twice-daily practices end
Twice-daily practices end
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Any NFL player will quickly attest that the best day of training camp is the last day. And that the second best is the final two-practice day.
That milestone was reached Wednesday at Rams Park, when coach Scott Linehan put his crew through its eighth — and last — double-workout session. Camp officially breaks Sunday, and a single-practice schedule begins Monday.
"Camp is long ... very long," cornerback Ron Bartell said. "I'm just looking forward to getting it over with and getting into the regular season."
The Rams have practiced 23 times since camp opened July 27, translating into almost 80 hours on the field. Many of the hours lately have come with temperatures in triple figures.
"I like the heat for the conditioning factor and the mental toughness part," Linehan said. "It's a part of two-a-days."
Still, he conceded that his players were wilting a bit.
"I think this week has been the toughest week, just because I know they're tired, they're hot and their bodies are real fatigued," Linehan said. "There's a lot more soreness. We've now played a (preseason) game, we've had a scrimmage, we've had a lot of contact, a lot of pads.
"It all adds up, and they're handling it well. They're a little grumpy right now, but they're working hard. And that's a great sign."
Overall, Linehan gives his second training camp as a head coach high marks.
"I've been really happy with camp," he said. "The character of this football team right now has really been shown to me. We don't have guys late for meetings; we don't have problems. ... I sleep good at night knowing that the guys are taking care of their business and being gentlemen around the building, being very professional."
An MRI exam has disclosed that quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a cracked rib when he was slammed to the turf by Minnesota linebacker Heath Farwell on Friday night.
"He's still real sore," Linehan said. "They say it won't get hurt any worse; it's more painful than anything. He's not able to do much at this point. It'll be a game-time decision as to whether he plays Saturday night" against San Diego at the Edward Jones Dome.
Fitzpatrick said he was having trouble getting zip on passes longer than 10 yards. Both his lungs also were bruised on the hit, for which Farwell was penalized.
Defensive tackle La'Roi Glover did limited work Wednesday. He had been out with hip soreness. Wide receivers Dane Looker (back) and Dominique Thompson (ribs), and linebacker Tim McGarigle (hamstring) still are sidelined.
Offensive lineman Todd Steussie sat out Wednesday night's practice with a pinched nerve in his neck.
NO TV SATURDAY
Several thousand tickets remained at 7 p.m. Wednesday, meaning that Saturday night's game won't be televised here. NFL rules mandate that all games — preseason and regular season — must be sold out 72 hours before kickoff to avoid a local blackout.
Linehan indicated that a decision on the first-team center could be forthcoming. Brett Romberg started at Minnesota, and Andy McCollum will be in the lineup vs. the Chargers.
"We'll know more after this game," Linehan said. "The whole plan was to start Brett in the first game and Andy in the second one, and then sit back and really evaluate. I think it's still very close."
Tight ends coach Judd Garrett was absent Wednesday because of a family medical emergency. ... In scout team work, linebacker Quinton Culberson wore No. 56 and defensive end Eric Moore No. 95 as they played the roles of pass-rushing San Diego linebackers Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips, respectively. ... Weather permitting, today's practice, which begins at 2:30 p.m., will be open to the public.
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